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Helmut Marko

Marko sends ominous Sprint message to Verstappen rivals

The gap may grow from the Shootout to the Sprint.

Verstappen US
To news overview © XPBimages

Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko has sent an ominous message to Max Verstappen's rivals ahead of the United States Grand Prix Sprint.

The Dutchman made up for seeing his pole position effort stripped in Friday's qualifying session - having fallen foul of track limits at Turn 19 - by securing top spot for the Sprint at the Circuit of the Americas.

Asked what was the key to his redemption, Marko told Sky Sport: "A flawless lap without track limits.

"I wouldn't say it was the optimal lap, but it was, thank God, enough."

Verstappen at advantage during sprint race

Verstappen has been dominant throughout the season but a look to the timesheets in the Sprint Shootout showed Charles Leclerc in second, Lewis Hamilton in third and Lando Norris in fourth all within a tenth of a second of the three-time Drivers' champion.

But suggesting his driver will experience a more comfortable Sprint, Marko explained the tight gaps was "mainly down to the Soft tyre".

"Handling was not optimal on the red tyres," he added.

"But we look a little more competitive on the medium tires anyway compared to the competition."

"For the sprint race, the Medium is clearly the preferred tyre, so I think that's why we can go into the Sprint race with a relatively positive feeling."

F1 2023 United States Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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